When you’re starting out in the Internet marketing, an often advice you hear is “build a list” and “money is in the list”. I have too and I’ve followed the advice, I’ve signed up with Aweber and started building lists. I’ve amassed quite a list of subscribers at over 30,000 over the years. And yesterday I’ve deleted them all and canceled my Aweber account.
If you follow the general IM advice you must be thinking I’m insane. I believe in general it’s considered that a single lead is worth at least $1 a year and that’s 30,000 of them. I’ve just thrown $30k/year out the window, what’s wrong with me? Not so fast.
You see, general “truths” like “money is in the list” have a flaw and that is that the devil is in the details. Money is not in just any list, it is in the list of customers. And that’s not just a rule that comes from IM, it’s common business sense – you need customers to sell. And that’s the tricky part.
The general idea of list building in IM is to put up a squeeze page, give away a freebie and collect emails that way. Almost every guru tells you to start doing it as soon as possible because, well, money is in the list! You can then send them promotions and make money even if you don’t have any product to sell – you can send affiliate offers. Oh yes, the affiliate offers.
Now let me ask you a question. Do you like getting all those ridiculous emails from affiliates, all 159 of them every single day? Then why would you want to join their ranks? The matter of fact is, if the subscribers aren’t your customers you’re just spamming them. And everyone hates spammers.
So I’ve amassed a list. I can count on my fingers how many broadcasts I’ve sent to it over the years, and every time I felt terrible. I tried to make them as “soft” as possible, add as much value as I could and never push a sale. Obviously that didn’t convert well and I haven’t made any money at all. And even if I had been pushing hard and spamming like there’s no tomorrow, I’d have made very little but lost a ton of karma points.
So to cut the ever growing bill from Aweber I’ve thrown the supposed $30k worth of leads to the bin and cut the agony.
The matter of fact is that you only need a list of customers when you have customers, i.e. when you have products or services. I don’t have any products or services and I don’t want to have them. My business model is creating websites and earning from affiliate programs and advertising. I’ve chosen it because I’ve tried doing both and nothing beats the passive income that such websites generate without having to deal with support. Hence, I don’t need a list.
And my advice is, don’t build a list just for the sake of building a list. If you don’t have a base of customers to make a list of, don’t make a list. The last thing you want is paying a bill for the storage of a bunch of worthless email addresses and much less spamming them.
Oh and did I say all those pop-ups and forms asking you to opt-in for something are just plain annoying? Glad to finally get rid of those from my sites.